Monday, December 21, 2009

What makes a great senior thesis?

I haven’t posted anything in awhile, so hopefully some people are still listening.

As my final co-op quarter comes to a close, I’m beginning to ask the question, “what the &$#! am I going to do for my senior thesis?” So, instead of trying to pull an awesome idea out of nowhere I’ve decided to try and understand what elements are inherent in the creation of a solid, culminating project. What are the most important characteristics of a senior design thesis?

Here’s the list I’ve come up with so far:

1.Make sure it’s doable and can be well executed in the given time.

2.Pick a topic that is going to show your strengths as an industrial designer ready to be hired

3.Most importantly, own the topic you choose. Consider a topic that is going to show your talents and drive you to do your best work possible.

Let me know if I’m missing something from the list…


I talked with some guys at work and this is what they felt was important...

1. Process book

2. Presentation & Storytelling: Make sure you plan to give yourself time to put together a compelling story about your product.

3. Schedule backwards: Understand what you want to accomplish and make a schedule backwards from the final due date to hit those milestones.

4. The critics will be professionals: Direct quote, "make sure you know what you are talking about or people are going to nail you on shit."

1 comment:

  1. Hi Nick,
    This might go along with #3...but I think you need to pick a project that you will be connected with enough to be motivated to actually work on it. The 'research' quarter for the thesis has been considered one of the easiest in the curriculum, but I think thats mostly because people don't do the work they are supposed to be doing. Pick something you are motivated to do, something inspiring to you, personally, and you will put the work in. Put enough work in, and it is bound to be a good project...